From: High Miles on
I'm pretty old, and have never known anyone with a genuine food allergy.
Sensitivity maybe, but how many are truly allergic to foods ?
How many would plop over dead, from a peanut or a shrimp ?
From: Jack Campin - bogus address on
> I'm pretty old, and have never known anyone with a genuine food allergy.
> Sensitivity maybe, but how many are truly allergic to foods ?
> How many would plop over dead, from a peanut or a shrimp ?

Potentially fatal ones, I don't know.

A standard text on food poisoning and food hygiene from around
1940 estimated that about 40% of the population had an identified
intolerance of some sort to some food, so it's hardly a new
issue. (If you class lactose intolerance as a food intolerance,
then the figure goes way up, since most of the world's population
is lactose-intolerant).

I've known about people with allergies to strawberries, seafood
and peanuts since I was a kid (I'm 60). I've only identified
one genuine food allergy in myself, and that was back in the early
1970s. Fortunately tinned water chestnuts are not difficult to
avoid.

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e m a i l : j a c k @ c a m p i n . m e . u k
Jack Campin, 11 Third Street, Newtongrange, Midlothian EH22 4PU, Scotland
mobile 07800 739 557 <http://www.campin.me.uk> Twitter: JackCampin
From: Trawley Trash on
On Thu, 01 Apr 2010 13:28:10 -0500
High Miles <2blues1723(a)comcast.net> wrote:

> I'm pretty old, and have never known anyone with a genuine
> food allergy. Sensitivity maybe, but how many are truly
> allergic to foods ? How many would plop over dead, from a
> peanut or a shrimp ?

I reject your definition of "genuine" food allergy.

An allergy is a situation where something that is supposed
to be benign causes an immune response. There are many
different kinds of immune responses, and they have names
like IgA, IgE, and IgGn (n is a number). Each person's immune
system functions slightly differently. This is why doctors
have a hard time identifying allergies.

This myth that the only true allergies are ones that make
you drop dead originated during World War II. It was
part of the permanent militarization of our culture that
the World War II generation forced upon us. We are all
supposed to all eat the same food; yet even in the fifties
it was still remembered that "one man's meat is another
man's poison." And of course that universal diet can
be found right there in the Bible: it is kosher.

Evolution proves that a common diet is a bunch of baloney.
New species are created on the basis of evolved differences
in the immune system. This forces groups or races to
separate, and over time they lose the capacity to mate across
groups. You can see God's hand at work here. On the seventh
day He did not stop; He merely rested. It is the creationists
who have their Bible wrong.

The military is dominated by creationists. Eisenhower
was one of the worst. But the idea that the only allergies
to worry about are the ones that make you die immediately
is attractive to many different kinds of people. School
and prison administrators, military recruiters, religious cult
leaders, the food handling industry, and anyone else who
wants to dominate you.

The most common allergies are IgG allergies. I have heard
thirty percent quoted several times, but I do not know where
this number comes from. When I recently went to a large
regional allergy clinic to be tested for the allergies that
I know I have, they refused to give me the test. The nurse
explained that there were "too many false positives" with
those tests.

The damage that allergies do is often insidious. Symptoms
take days to arrive, and they persist for weeks. Repeated
exposure to small quantities make them worse and worse.
Most of the time when I have an allergic reaction it seems
like a minor cold. I used to call it my perpetual cold.

Our nose runs when we have a cold, because our immune system
attacks our nasal passages. Other than provoking an immune
response, viruses or microbes have nothing to do with it.
Of course when we eat something that we are allergic to,
we can get the same reaction. Skin rashes also show up
in allergies and infections. Joint pains and digestive
upsets likewise. According to one immunology researcher
possibly fifty percent of the diagnoses of infectious disease
are actually caused by allergy. Diagnoses of autoimmune
diseases, he claimed, were all allergies.

I am no expert, but last year I was diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetes is classed as an autoimmune disease. After
monitoring my blood sugar for a month, I noticed a correlation
with my allergies. In fact blood sugar was a far more
sensitive test for my allergies than any other symptom. As I
became fanatical about my diet, my blood sugar began dropping.
Since last July it has come down from 300 into the nineties.
I am cured.

I could take insulin for the diabetes, decongestants and
antihistamines for the sinus problems, tylenol for joint pain,
creams for the skin rashes, and digestive enzymes. Then I
could eat what others want me to eat. I would only be
treating the symptoms. I would still wonder
what other problems my allergies are causing.

Yet maintaining this diet is difficult. Everyone from
supermarket checkers to burger flippers knows exactly what
I should eat. If I do not roll over dead, they are sure
I made the whole thing up. If I do not watch them carefully,
they will poison me. Creationists like Al Gore are a special
problem. He once chased me around an Army mess hall trying to
force me to eat a lemon tart. To creationists food is what
is in the Bible, and those of us who cannot eat what they
eat have no rights.

So allergies are quite common, perhaps universal. But most
people are allergic to something unusual, and they just learn
not to eat it. Others have allergies to common foods
like, wheat, corn, rice, or milk. Even if they can identify
the allergies, they find it hard to avoid being ill. Many
people die from allergies that are misdiagnosed. How many
we have no way of knowing.